Might as well kill me, says Rosmah after DPP asks for maximum sentence

(NST) – Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in making a statement from the dock in her corruption trial at the High Court, here, tearfully said she was saddened with what happened in court today.

Earlier, High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan ruled that the prosecution had proven its case against the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Rosmah was found guilty of all three corruption charges involving the RM1.25 billion project to supply solar hybrid energy to rural schools in Sarawak.

“To me the courtroom is where you get justice,” Rosmah said.

“I have always told my lawyers to always speak to the truth… that is the way I was brought up.

“I don’t want to say anything more. I respect your decision. I want to leave this court in a good way. I was once the first lady of this country.”

Rosmah added that while she did not want to blow her own trumpet, she had initiated many programmes for children in the country.

She said she also felt proud to have contributed in many ways to the improvement of children in the country.

“Never ever did I think I want to squander any money.

“I was in charge of Bakti and we had RM45 million in it… never ever did I touch a single sen.”

Rosmah said she also never knew anyone in Jepak Holdings, the company which was awarded the contract.

“Nobody saw me taking any money… but if that is the conclusion, I leave it to Allah.

“I did not even know the total cost of the project was that much… I am just telling the truth and nothing but the truth.”

Rosmah said she never thought of cheating any of the association she had led.

“So when I ended up in court, it took me by surprise.

“I have also never influenced my husband… whenever I opened my mouth, he would say you are my wife don’t interfere.”

Rosmah then went on to urge the judge to be compassionate.

“It can happen to me now, it can happen to your children and grandchildren.

“I am a victim… you want us to suffer, we have suffered. I am telling you this.

“Look at me as a woman and be compassionate,” she said.

Meanwhile, her lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh earlier submitted on Rosmah’s plea for a lesser sentence.

He called on the judge to sentence Rosmah to just a day’s jail and a minimum fine.

He said Rosmah had an unblemished character and had done service to the nation as the wife of a prime minister, especially in helping young children who were not given education.

He added that Rosmah’s branchild, the Permata programme to help underprivileged children, was something no other wife of any prime minister in the country had ever done.

Jagjit said Rosmah also had health issues which the court should consider.

He added that others implicated in the project had all gotten off scot-free while Rosmah was the only one charged.

“Nevertheless, she still rendered her full cooperation to the authorities.”

Meanwhile, lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram urged the court to take into consideration the gravity of the offence.

He said Rosmah faced a maximum of 20-years in jail and also a fine of five times the amount of gratification received.

He said any decision should make those intending on taking corruption money stop dead in their tracks.

“If just a day’s jail is imposed, it will send the wrong message to the people.

“The maximum or a near maximum sentence should be imposed… corruption is a very serious offence,” he said.

Upon hearing this, Rosmah remarked: “Might as well kill me.”

Rosmah was charged with soliciting RM187.5 million from former Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin, through her then aide Datuk Rizal Mansor, as an inducement to help the company secure the project.

She was also accused of two counts of receiving bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from Saidi between 2016 and 2017.

Her trial started in 2020 and was held over 42 days of hearing, with 23 prosecution and two defence witnesses – including Rosmah, called to testify.

Rosmah’s case started on Feb 5, 2020, and Zaini ordered her to enter her defence on Feb 18 last year.

The defence closed its case on Feb 23.

The prosecution was led by Sri Ram, assisted by Deputy Public Prosecutors Ahmad Akram Gharib, Mustafa P Kunyalam and Poh Yin Tinn while Rosmah was represented by jagjit and Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader.